Womenlines takes pleasure to welcome Underneath the Pink Umbrella as a guest contributor on Womenlines panel. Underneath the Pink Umbrella is a student in Singapore and feels strongly about women issues. This month she is sharing her views regarding the importance of pursuing your passions:
Underneath the Pink Umbrella: The power of choice. A great show once said when the gun is pointed at you and you are forced to choose between two unrealisable options, take the gun and twist it back at the person pointing it at you. Therefore, sometimes we feel in order to do something we have to forego the other, but in reality, if you can manage it, you will be able to do everything you put your heart into!
As kids, we were asked: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
We would respond with innovative responses such as “pilot”, “firefighter”, “astronaut”, or in my case “Fashion Designer”.
Watching my fashionista of an older sister get dressed up was an entertaining way to pass time. She would explain each stage of getting ready and the secrets behind how she looked so perfect all the time. Her love for fashion and shopping extended to me as I would read all the magazines she subscribed to, go shopping with her, and help her in whatever innocent way I could in her work while she pursued a degree in Fashion Marketing and Management. She did it, she followed her passion, and succeeded by opening her own brand. She was always talented in that one field and mastered it.
A blessing with its drawbacks, I loved everything I did and managed to perform decently well in most subjects. Therefore, it was very difficult to decide subjects and choose my field of education. Furthermore, even in higher education, my chosen subjects reflected no clear direction and the prospect of choosing one to pursue as a degree felt like I was betraying my love for the other subjects.
I chose to study business in SMU. Here there are multiple CCAs and see the potential to continue pursuing a few of my passions. I teach French once a semester here, organize Literature-themed events, and write for Womenlines. My hobbies and interests were hence taken care of. But that tussle between passion and education was eating away at me. It caused me to have a nervous breakdown during which I nearly left SMU since the lack of creativity made me feel trapped.
There and then I made a promise to myself, that if something has to happen, it will, and I will make a conscious effort to practice art or do part-time courses in universities nearby.
Come Semester 1 of Year 2, one month in, two months in, getting caught up in the work I confronted myself about the promise. I opened my schedule, researched courses and signed myself up for an Oil Painting class and Fashion Illustration class. I had scheduled in an art class once a week, which fit in beautifully with my SMU timetable.
On my way to the class, I realized I hadn’t smiled the way I did before attending any class in SMU before. When buying the canvas, the paints, the brushes, the familiarity of it beckoned me. I had forgotten about one of the most essential parts of my identity for the past 4 years, and nothing was going to prevent me from pursuing it now. In the first art class, I was anxious, it had been 3 years since I last held an oil painting brush, however, the muscle memory took over. I recollected every skill and every art class I had since age 10.
I could not have imagined that it could get any better… At LASALLE College of the Arts, I stepped into the classroom. I saw the designs and colours and sketches which I’d seen on shows such as Project Runway. I saw a room full of passionate people who were here for the same reason I was, to reverse the damage of cheating on their passion. Learning how to professionally draw something that I used to doodle in my notebooks in 4th grade felt like I was doing justice to my younger self’s dreams. I would doodle designs of eccentric gowns in my notebooks, textbooks and worksheets. Without a doodle, my teachers would question whether it was truly my work. The satisfaction gained from doing something you are passionate about is unparalleled. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity of doing so as well.
Work is work, it cannot be neglected. But I believe, having a balance is important, and fueling that passion is essential to excel in your work.
Underneath the Pink Umbrella:
Hey! I am currently a freshman studying business, quite boring you might think, right? But I’m passionate about it! Besides that, I’m passionate about women’s rights, which is a topic that has been debated for centuries. A historian and artist, I try to research the story behind everything and imbue creativity in whatever I do. My contributions will show you my stance on women’s issues and offer a historical background and a fresher and more relatable perspective on the world and women around you.
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